Kowloon is one of the 18 administrative districts that make up Hong Kong today. It is a peninsula of the mainland China coast and sits north of the Hong Kong Island across the Victoria Harbor. Kowloon is bordered by Lion Rock and Tate’s Cairn in the north, Victoria Harbor in the south, the strait of Lei Yue Mun in the east, and Stonecutter’s Island and Mei Foo Sun Chuen in the west. It has a total land area of 11.9 sq km and a population of 2,019,533. It had a population density of 43,033/km² in 2006.
Kowloon is a Cantonese word, which literally translates to “nine dragons”. They represent the eight peaks of the mountain range that borders it. They are Kowloon Peak, Tung Shan, Tate’s Cairn, Temple Hill, Unicorn Ridge, Lion rock, Beacon Hill, and Crow’s Nest. The ninth peak is said to be the Emperor Bing.
Kowloon is one of Hong Kong’s major cities as it is an important manufacturing, transportation, and commercial area. It is comprised of five districts: Kowloon City, Kwun Tong, Wong Tai Sin, Sham Shui Po, and Yau Tsim Mong. Kowloon is also a residential zone and a tourist hotspot. prominent tourist destinations in Kowloon are the Kowloon Walled City Park, Ocean Terminal which showcases the Kowloon waterfront, Shek Kip Mei Estate, Hong Kong Space Museum, and Hong Kong Cultural Center,
Residential Places in Kowloon
Kowloon is a densely populated area. The government provides most of the housing estates here. The Sham Shui Po district is covered with residential buildings and public housing estates. Famous public housing estates in the district are Shek Kip Mei Estate and So Uk Estate. Private sector housing can be found in Mei Foo Sun Chuen and Yau Yat Tsuen. The latter is a luxurious residential estate that presents a stark contrast with the surrounding estates in the district. Meanwhile, housing estates in the Kwun Tok district include Sau Mau Ping Estate, Ko Cheung Court, Ko Chun Court, Ko Yee Estate, Yau Mei Court, Yau Lei Estate, and Lei Yue Mun Estate. The first is found in Sau Mau Ping, while the succeeding housing estates are found in Yau Tong. On the other hand, residential areas in the Kowloon City district are Kowloon Tong, Hung Hom, Ho Man Tin, Kai Tak, Ma Tau Wai, Whampoa Garden, and To Kwa Wan. The Wong Tai Sin district‘s residential areas are Diamond Hill, Wang Tau Hom, Chuk Yuen, Tsz Wan Shan, Choi Hung, and Choi Wan. Residential estates in Yau Tsim Mong district are found in Mong Kok and Kwun Chung. The guest houses and hotels found in Kowloon range from the budgeted to the most luxurious. Many guest houses that offer cheap accommodations can be found in Mong Kok, such as the Dragon Hostel, Lee Garden Guest House, and Garden Hostel in Mirador Mansions. On the other hand, most five-star luxury hotels are found in Tsim Sha Tsui. Some of these are Langham Hotel Hong Kong, Intercon Grand Stanford Hotel, Nikko Hotel, New World Renaissance, and Kowloon Shangri-La. Mid-range hotels in Kowloon include Eaton Hotel Hong Kong, the Salisbury YMCA, and Regal Kowloon Hotel.
Hospitals and Universities of Kowloon
Kowloon has notable colleges and universities aiming to provide excellence in higher education. One of these is the city University of Hong Kong located at Tat Chee Avenue in Kowloon City district. It has a population of more than 12,000 undergraduate and 6,000 postgraduate students. With English as the official language of instruction, the city University of Hong Kong has 5% of its total student population comprised of international students. Another distinguished university located in the Kowloon City district is the Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU). Established in 1956, HKBU is the second largest educational institution for higher education in Hong Kong. It has four campuses, namely the Ho Sin Hang campus, Shaw campus, the Baptist University Road campus, and the Shek Mun campus. HKBU boasts of the following faculties and schools: Faculty of Arts, School of Business, School of Chinese Medicine, School of Communication, School of Continuing Education, Faculty of Science, Faculty of Social Science, Academy of Visual Arts, and HKBU Graduate School. Also found in Kowloon is the Open University of Hong Kong which offers degrees and post-graduate courses through an open access and distance education. Its main campus is located in Ho Man Tin. The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Poly U or HKPU) is also worth mentioning as it is the largest publicly funded tertiary educational institution in terms of student population.
Healthcare Facilities on all Districts
Healthcare facilities are not difficult to find in Kowloon as all districts features one. One large healthcare facility in Kowloon is the Kowloon Hospital located at Prince Edward Road in Mong Kok. It is a general care hospital and has specialists in respiratory medicine, psychiatry, geriatrics, and rehabilitation. It has 1,275 beds and was first to set up a rehabilitation unit in Hong Kong. The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in King’s Park is another prominent healthcare facility in Kowloon. QEH was first opened in 1963 and is presently the major acute hospital in Kowloon with a 24-hour accident and emergency service. It has experienced doctors specializing in the fields of traumatology, neurosurgery, neurology, clinical oncology, cardiology, gastroenterology and hepatology, thoracic surgery, urology, pediatrics and neonatology, obstetrics and gynecology, sports medicine, ophthalmology, intensive care, and reconstructive orthopedics.
Commercial Places in Kowloon
At the tip of the Kowloon peninsula sits Tsim Sha Tsui. This area consists of one sq km of shops, camera stores, restaurants, pubs, and topless bars. There are several notable commercial establishments in Tsim Sha Tsui. One of these is Harbour City which is the largest shopping mall in Hong Kong. It is one of the first establishments that the people getting into Kowloon visit since it sits next to the Star Ferry pier. The mall features all assortments of stores that sell mid-range to expensive branded goods Also worth mentioning is Langham Place in Mong Kok. This entertainment complex boasts of a 15-story shopping mall which has over 300 shops selling clothes, accessories, and electronic gadgets, a tall 59-story Grade A office tower, and the five-star Langham Place Hotel. The area usually plays host to concerts, art exhibits, and special events. Dining in Kowloon is satisfying to both the palette and the budget. One does not need to spend much to taste authentic Chinese food in Kowloon. Some establishments and areas that serve inexpensive Chinese dishes are Choi Lung Restaurant which serves dimsum and Cantonese dinners and converts the restaurant into a night club after 7pm, Fa Yuen Street Complex which has a cook food center that sells food cooked local Hong Kong style, and the Temple street in Mong Kok which is famous for the local street food of dai pai dong. Some mid-range establishments include the Jade Palace which is famed for its dimsums, the Red Ant Restaurant in Tsim Sha Tsui which has a bistro-like ambiance and has a wide selection of dishes and non-alcoholic beverages, and the Yat Tung Heen, Eaton Hotel which serves traditional and original creations of dimsum and Cantonese dishes. Numerous bars and restaurants that serve international dishes can be found along Ashley Road, which is flanked by Nathan Road and Ocean Terminal, and in Knutsford Terrace near the Miramar Hotel. Prominent bars with a view in Kowloon are Felix, situated atop the Peninsula Hotel, and Aqua which is atop 1 Peking Road office building.
Service Establishments of Kowloon
There are several establishments in Hong Kong that provide landline connections. A Hong Kong ID card or passport and proof of residence must be presented when applying for a line. The largest of this service provider is the Pacific Century Cyberworks Limited (PCCW Ltd). Requesting for a telephone line or changing a registered name can be done by accessing their online shop or shops conveniently located all over Hong Kong. PCCW has several shops in Mong Kok– on Fuk Wa Street at the Pioneer Center, at CTMA Center along Sai Yeung Choi Street, on Argyle Street, and on Sai Yeung Choi Street South, Mong Kok. Other PCCW shops in Kowloon are located at the Miramar Hotel, along Carnarvon Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, in Sham Shui Po at Whampoa Estate on Tak Man Street, Hung Hom, at the Plaza Hollywood, in Diamond Hill, at Telford Plaza in Kowloon Bay, in On Ning Building on Mut Wah Street, Kwun Tong, and at the Kai Tin Shopping Centre in Lam Tin. There are other telecom companies which have their head offices in Kowloon. They are Hutchison Global Communications (HGC) with its head office located in Hung Hom, Kowloon and New World Telecom in Kowloon Bay, Kowloon. pCCW and HGC also provide mobile and broadband/internet services.
The Hong Kong Police Force’s east and west regional headquarters are located in Kowloon. The east regional HQ of the HKP has the following districts and divisions. The Sau Mau Ping district has Sau Mau Ping and Ngau Tau Kok divisions. The Wong Tai Sin district has divisions in Wong Tau sin and Sai Kung. The Kwun Tong district has Kwun Tong and Tseung Kwan O divisions. The Railway district has 6 divisions in the following: Airport Railway (East Rail and West Rail), Kwun Tong Line, Tsuen Wa Line, Island Line, and Lan Tau. Districts and divisions in the west regional HQ are as follows: Yau Tsim district which includes the Yau Ma Tei and Tsim Sha Tsui divisions, Mong Kok district , Sham Shui Po district which includes the Sham Shui Po and Cheung Sha Wan divisions, and Kowloon City district which includes the Kowloon City and Hung Hom divisions,
Embassies in Kowloon
Several consulates are found in Kowloon, especially in Tsim Sha Tsui. One of these is the Honorary Consulate of the Kingdom of Bahrain which holds office at the Chevalier House along Chatham Road. The Consulate General of Cambodia, the Honorary Consulate of Jordan, and the Honorary Consulate of Uganda all hold office at the Star House on Salisbury Road. The Honorary Consulate of Madagascar has its office at the East Ocean Centre on Granville Road. Holding office at the Kowloon Centre on Ashley Road is the Honorary Consulate of Maldives. The Honorary Consulate of Malta has its office located at Chinachem Golden Plaza on Mody Road. Another consulate holding office in Tsim Sha Tsui is the Honorary Consulate of Morocco which is found in Marine Deck, Ocean Terminal. And lastly, the Consulate General of Nepal holds office in the North Tower of the Concordia Plaza on Science Museum Road. There are other consulates found in Kowloon. Kwun Tong has the Honorary Consulate of Benin with its office located at the Westin Center on Hung To Road. The Honorary Consulate of Fiji has its office at the Parkes Commercial Centre along Parkes Street in Jordan. The Honorary Consulate of Niger has its office at the Kowloon Centre on Ashley Road in Kowloon City. Also in Kowloon City is the Honorary Consulate of Togo, which holds office at the Wah Shun Industrial Centre on Cho Yuen Street.